*This part of the story mostly focuses on my personal ponderings regarding a conversation I had during the filming with one of the actors and several of the film crew. So be prepared for a soapbox rant.*
As I mentioned on Facebook:
They are now filming in my room, and one of the actors said quite assuredly, "You've never had so many men in your room, love." Followed by one of those young men saying, "Well, we were all thinking it but we never would've said it." hahahahahaha I wonder if it was the giant book that says "Eternal Marriage" on my shelf or the picture of Jesus on my mirror that gave me away.
The film crew scurrying about my room just before the above conversation.
For those of you who were curious as to my own response to the actor... It was one of those moments when multiple ideas and retorts passed through my mind, all clear as day, in the blink of an eye. I thought, "Should I be offended?" "Should I laugh it off?" "Should I own it?" "How can I use this to share the gospel?," and even the words of Romans 1:16 ran briefly through my mind: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..." By the end of that brief introspection, I had decided to own it, no matter how that may have seemed to them. So I said, "Well that's true!" And laughed. That seemed to break the momentary tension of all the young men in the room as they realized that I was not offended or embarrassed to be called out as a virgin in front of all these strangers. But I wasn't just playing it off trying not to be embarrassed like I usually do... instead I realized that I really WASN'T ashamed for my virginity to be broadcast to an entire room full of men. How odd.
I've thought a lot about that experience over the last week, and it keeps getting funnier with every re-living of it! But in light of having watched General Conference in between the two days of filming, I've also learned a lot from it. I was able to pinpoint the true gospel principles that helped me 1) stand firm, and 2) not be ashamed of my choice or even 3) of making that choice known to strangers regarding why I've decided to remain chaste before marriage.
Elder Christofferson, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, said:
"Most sacred is a woman’s role in the creation of life. We know that our physical bodies have a divine origin4 and that we must experience both a physical birth and a spiritual rebirth to reach the highest realms in God’s celestial kingdom.5 Thus, women play an integral part (sometimes at the risk of their own lives) in God’s work and glory “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”6 As grandmothers, mothers, and role models, women have been the guardians of the wellspring of life, teaching each generation the importance of sexual purity—of chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage. In this way, they have been a civilizing influence in society; they have brought out the best in men; they have perpetuated wholesome environments in which to raise secure and healthy children."As the muses say in Hercules, "That's the Gospel truth!" I REALLY believe that, because the Holy Ghost has confirmed the truth of it in my own heart. So what might seem to many like an old-fashioned choice based on bizarre religious fervor, or even a misunderstanding that my personal worth only exists if I remain pure before marriage, I choose to remain chaste because I hold my womanhood and my divine role as sacred. I am grateful for my physical body, imperfections included, and the power and responsibility that I have to bring life into the world. Because I value and honor that privilege, I have chosen to exercise it only within the bonds of marriage, with a man worthy of being sealed to me for eternity and not just "until death do us part."
*Ok, I'll now step down from my soap box. :) *
They also thought the outside of our home was adequately horrendous for their filming purposes. The tall blonde woman, Leigh, played the American niece in the episode. She was mortified by the disgraceful state of our living conditions and made me promise to keep complaining about all the mold to the landlord until someone fixes it. haha If only she'd seen the other places I've lived (like Alpine aptmts in Provo!) then she'd know I have it pretty good here. haha
We did take pictures of the other actors, but I'll have to wait to get them from my roommate, since we snuck them on her phone. ;) I'll add them here as soon as I get them though!